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Americans Living Longer and Healthier Lives

  • Published: 2010-02-20 (Revised/Updated 2016-04-15) : Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
  • Synopsis: Cancer patients live three years longer on average than in 1980 83 percent of that gain is the result of new treatments.

Main Document

Quote: "A strong, innovative and creative pharmaceutical research and biotechnology sector based in the United States is a real boon to American patients, said Billy Tauzin."

Many Americans Enjoying Longer, Healthier Lives Due to Medical Innovation and New Therapies...

An article that recently appeared in El Tejano Magazine highlighted the fact that many Americans are living longer, healthier and more productive lives because of medical innovation and research.

America's pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies are leading the charge. The Congressional Budget Office specifically identified America's biopharmaceutical sector as "one of the most research-intensive industries" in America.

"A strong, innovative and creative pharmaceutical research and biotechnology sector based in the United States is a real boon to American patients," said Billy Tauzin, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). "American patients often get access to new and better medicines well ahead of patients around the world, and this homegrown innovation not only saves lives, it helps the American economy by employing millions of Americans and pumping billions of dollars into our local and national economies," Tauzin added.

According to a study recently published in Health Affairs, cancer patients live three years longer on average than in 1980; 83 percent of that gain is the result of new treatments. In addition, there was a nearly 50 percent decline in heart failure- and heart attack-related deaths between 1999 and 2005. The rate of AIDS deaths has fallen by more than 70 percent since highly active anti-retroviral therapies were developed, and blood pressure medicines prevented 86,000 premature deaths from cardiovascular disease and avoided 833,000 hospitalizations for heart attack and stroke in just one year, according to a 2007 study.

These and many other medical advances were driven by U.S.-based medical innovation, according to a recent study by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. In fact, the study showed that 75 percent of new drugs in recent years were first introduced in the U.S.

"It's important to keep in mind," said Tauzin, "that developing new therapies can be risky, expensive and time consuming. Creating a new medicine, on average, takes between 10 and 15 years and can cost $1.3 billion. But it's an investment biopharmaceutical research companies make because nothing is as important as the search for new cures and treatments that help patients live longer, healthier lives."

Editor: World Lifespan Chart

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